Our education work is mainly botanical training (as in this photo of Ben providing training in mosses and liverworts to a group of National Trust staff in the Lake District) but also includes talks and guided walks.
We provide botanical training to a very wide range of clients, especially to staff of conservation organizations and ecological consultancies, and to groups of people doing voluntary work for conservation charities such as Plantlife and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. This training is mostly on plant species identification (including ‘difficult’ groups such as grasses, sedges, rushes, mosses and liverworts), the classification of habitats and plant communities such as the National Vegetation Classification (NVC) and the Phase One habitat classification, and the recording of botanical data for various monitoring methods. Ben has provided botanical training for some big projects such as the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland (Forestry Commission, 2006-2013) and the Developing Ecological Survey Skills project (Scottish Wildlife Trust, 2011 to 2014).
We also present illustrated talks about various aspects of vegetation and flora to a wide range of people including students, ecologists and more general public audiences. These talks are illustrated with our own photographs and artwork. Some talks are directly associated with training: for example an indoor introductory talk followed by outdoor training. Others are for different purposes such as public interest; for example in this photo Ben is giving a public talk in Sapporo, Japan, about the vegetation of Horoka Tomamu Montane Forest.
3. Guided walks
Another part of our education work is taking groups of interested people (mostly members of the public who do not necessarily work in ecology or land use or who have little or no background in the study of vegetation and the identification of plant species), on a guided walk around a site, to show them what makes it interesting, and to do this in ways that will hopefully encourage them to look more at vegetation wherever they go in the future.